Future proofing careers: How to stay relevant for tomorrow’s workforce

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

44% of Australian jobs (5.1 million current jobs) are at risk from digital disruption in the next 20 years, and 75% of Australia’s fastest growing occupations require STEM Skills - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Yet digitalisation is not the only thing affecting the change in tomorrow’s job market.

Population trends both nationally and regionally are redefining Australia. Demographic and social trends, such as emerging cultural diversity, the implications of an ageing population, household transformations, and increased mobility are creating significant changes. Workforce trends such as teleworking, tenure shifts, multi-career expectations, and emerging attraction, retention, and engagement factors are informing the demands on 21st century workers.

As these technological, generational, educational, and demographic shifts redefine job demands, it’s more important than ever before for individuals to be innovative, collaborative, proactive, and responsive to ensure they remain future-proofed for tomorrow’s workforce.

What does it mean to stay innovative?

In the next 10 years, there will be significant shifts to the labour market. There is a basic reality around job functions in developed economies with a relatively high cost of labour: everything that can be automated, will be automated, and every role that can be offshored to lower cost-base countries will be offshored. However, technology and business innovation will create new and diverse roles in areas that technology can’t compete. Roles that require creative input, people-focus, leadership skills or high-level communication talent can be futureproofed as they are not be effectively replaceable by technology.

Being Collaborative

It’s important not just to focus on academic outcomes but the people skills; not just the learning, but on the ability to work well with others. 1997 was the first year in which we began spending more time looking at screens than in in face to face interaction, and today, individuals spend over 10 hours on screens every day. In tomorrow’s job market, if someone has a good ability to communicate, motivate, and engage – they’ll go far.

Staying Proactive

In today’s flat-structured work environments, people need to be self-leaders and managers and stay self-directed. In previous decades it was the norm to have a very structured workplace with a chain of command where employers were looking for compliance rather than proactive innovation. Today there is the need for a self-starter mentality in every organisation – for employees at all levels to take charge and show proactive initiative.

Being Responsive

It’s important to keep eyes on the external environment. Individuals who can not only remain experts at their craft but extend their knowledge to various domain areas will stay future-proofed. A career that is future-proofed may in fact by its very nature change and adjust nearly every year. Be responsive and observe what’s happening around you.

By being innovative, collaborative, proactive, and responsive to the changes taking place, individuals can navigate the challenge of being future-proofed for tomorrow’s workforce.


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.


To have Eliane present at your next event, please feel free to get in touch via email to kim@mccrindle.com.au or call through to 02 8824 3422

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


Australia street cars australians staying home more criminal Real Estate investing leader mateship Australian schools university degree events twentyseventeen baby name predictions publication presentations consumer omnibus society greatness graphs engage staff Australians 1980 learner sustainable father's day Engineering Manager shopping digital REIV Conference charity workforce Do It Yourself supply and demand cost stay home future of education school satisfaction baby names Real Estate Institute of Victoria workplace culture Western Australia home owner sector wide Skilling life infographic wall baby name grandparents perth shopper's pick baby boom product christmas state TDE investment culturally diverse in the media entrepreneurial SMART Crime Rates crime average sydneysider house price rise financial dreams prince george divorce ferry business index online shopping sun cartodb wage conferences moreton bay earning shifts property local consumerism demographic transformations Vocational education snapshot capital city 40 million NBRS Architecture generations Australian Trends February 16 social researcher poor list learn politics house price car Generation X generation alpha Financial Planning Week townhouses Gen X leadership workshop financial forum screenage infographic future of work internships FPA huffington post world long weekend norwest household aged care puzzle WA Social Trend low density personalities Caregiver brisbane organisations speaker video bureau new york times the great screenage English crows nest hornsby teleworking royal family hills shire victoria marriages education youth unemployment EFF retirement religion data analyst wedding Generation Y impact area children 2016 census middle class property market authenticity baby name trends brand experience cash pharmacy home ownership Sydney Hills Business Chamber global generations optimistic earnings change cultural diveristy quote Population Clock Geoff Brailey urban living index Melbourne high density shbc Merry Christmas culture ipswich analysis news trends of 2016 demographics professional services sydneycity click SA winter emerging technologies names small business 2013 infographics future-proof relevant qualitative research wellbeing shopping centre winter blues Valentine’s Day nfp social change meals parents village economic economy the changing face of living NSW generational trends growth bondi NEETs business performance summer visual ACF 2016 thrive cancelling event income results forecast paying to work Education Future Forum proactive Tuesday Trend educated logan Queensland anzac focus groups house train TED talk households Christmas lunch Australian Bureau of Statistics new office volunteers faux-ciliser equip local community trades marriage wealth and income gold coast apartments housing trends sydneysider priorities Royals PSI land of the middle class networking social commentary christianity sydneysiders water mobile daily telegraph couple market research stats eliane miles weekly earnings australian social research ashley fell socialising mccrindle case study belief tips young australians not-for-profit jobs of the future millennials Channel Seven workplace work-life plans easter population milestone communicate The Daily Edition capital cities repayments FOMO Research Director Australian Census trend media commentary report Duchess of Cambridge schools litter organisational culture education future future of shopping Australia Day slideshare vegemite australian communities forum professional speaker Australian Population story young people house prices World Water Day Channel 7 sydney event salary language ultimo demographer hobart clothing population map DESTEL tertiary education medicine travel entrepreneur future proof professional development schools students alpha social enquiry Australian Communities Trends jobs socialites non profit average aussie research builders earn world youth day employment GPO states rental stress personal growth public speaking cancel plans millionth families speakers social lives mccrindle tea mother's day collaborative geomapping office opening rising house prices System's Architect dreaming Mark McCrindle wealth and income distribution property price Adelaide goal 2016 census results family micro apartments Australia Day 2017 social life New Zeland friends sports JOMO baby names australia report christian 23 million poker master the australian dream employers communities unemployment panel SMSF HSC Love faux-cilising education future report 2016 researcher Netflix staying in Australian demographics study darwin brands high school brand Financial Planning Association the hills census fail Financial Planning Association of Australia sydney metro Macquarie University acf15 demographic rain motivate growing population 2020 trends grave decision buildings students sunburnt country sydney hills participants spend sydney speaker professional royal baby VIC wages engagement owning a home tableau research pack group session typical australian entrepreneurs of today sector wide study real thought leadership visualisation ease of travel speakers pack REIV National Conference 1994 sentiments research visualisation budget DIY ACT 1975 resilience lifestyle population faux-cilise community seasons student mccrindle research balance housing growth national crime rates January 26th Res Vis conference speaker Australian Home faith kate middleton transport teach toys showreel teaching 10 years internet rent award winner increasing densification youth ageing population social shifts social researchers ashley mckenzie Kirsten Brewer urban living Assistant Store Manager spirituality the average aussie census 2016 environment customer baby wolloomooloo Aussies social media emerging generations keynote debt pharmacies entertainment home Tuesday Trends outsourcing suburban living divorce rate women sunny days hopes national private wealth statistics Christmas presents aged care innovation sector daily commute media work mates manly define year 7 mccrindle in the media renter of the future domestic weather leadership professional presenters wealth distribution financial fears ageing Northern beaches Event 2012 suburb optus cost of living goals neutral bay offenders global SRE presentation social princess charlotte learning Australian communities ABS Research Executive gen z Queensland: QLD technology future communication Territory energy South Australia Births work city breakfast careers commute 2015 google purpose internship 24 million cold government future proofing Work place moderators guide narcissism school students New South Wales conference social trends data visualisation rich men generation suburbs ethnography event royal Scouts Christchurch rule keeper friendship McCrindle Speakers aussie culture office woolworths lalor park bus renting baby names report society trends futurist demography national wealth megatrends hello fresh social impact post rationalism tea "know the times" Wellington in depth interviews community event trends analyst baby boomers safe optus my business awards education sector tattoos Aussie ACF keynote speaker population growth changing face of sydney monarchy challenge google for education celebration micro learning styles financial future generation Z potts point wealth hills millenials 2014 follow dream teachers CBD the hills shire food Charlotte James Ward Andrew Duffin insights collaboration Gen Y social issues housing affordability NBRS urban 24,000,000 mentor forecasting Tasmania skills newspaper 1968 affordable royal influence Northern Beaches survey going out #censusfail intern career census results gen alpha cancelling plans tv demographic trends deloitte research data 2017 identity CPI happiness resource healthy future Sydney keynote speaker The ABC of XYZ Bathburst cloudy days finance NT focus group rise of local pyrmont eliane Christmas season trend tuesday residents coffee facts financial independence census conference presentation group mythbusting university Deaths social commentator Australian Dream census data TED Word Up high density apartments public speaker contiki waverton mythbusters emerging trends research report average Australian IT Specialists survey design local communities blaxland business easy rider global financial crisis fresh insight holiday Sydney recap meetings travelling workshop know the times Northern Beaches Christian School VET sector australia mining boom fears church communications vegetarian year 12 marketing public holiday environmental scanning education research TAS cooking affordability Hills Shire Council Canberra data overcast innovative marrickville online social research cica Australian Families high density living research services Wodonga interactive urban taskforce responsive relational not for profit community engagement debate school social analysis mover and shaker VET media activity child care etiquette program holidays dare to dream commuters unaffordable Hornsby Shire Council apartment trends of 2017 selfie gender award menai Myth Northern Territory investor teacher media release tuesday office space Kiwi curiosity experience TEDx cultural diversity australian communities trends report training Wagga Wagga annual income dessert parenting mortgage housing ideas storytelling New Zealand educhat housing market